Occupational Therapist Assistant/Physiotherapist Assistant Program

Tuition and Fees

Program Title: Occupational Therapist Assistant/Physiotherapist Assistant Program
Credential Earned: Ontario College Diploma
Delivery: Full Time
Program Length: 4 Semesters
Program Status: Open

Program Codes
H158 – Timmins Campus
Program codes are for September intakes except those that are indicated differently.


Program Description
Occupational therapy assistants (OTA) and physiotherapy assistants (PTA) work under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist or physiotherapist assisting them with treatment plans for individuals who have conditions that are physically or developmentally disabling. Assistants prepare materials and equipment used during treatment and may perform clerical or administrative duties as assigned.

In this two-year program you will learn to assist with the implementation of rehabilitation treatment plans and programs developed to promote clients’ independence, enhance activities of daily life and function, and support individuals whose physical ability has been impaired by injury, illness, aging, developmental disability or emotional disability. Areas of focus include restoring and maximizing physical and occupational performance, ultimately enabling clients to effectively utilize their abilities in movement.

Graduates can most commonly find employment in hospitals and health-care facilities as well as:

  • Community development
  • Extended care facilities
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Independent practice
  • Offices of health-care practitioners
  • Rehabilitation centres
  • Research
  • Schools
  • Social services agencies
  • Sports organizations

Contact Information
campbells@northern.on.ca

Admission Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma or Mature Student Status
  • Grade 12 English (C, M or U) Grade 11 or 12 biology (C, M or U)
  • Two additional senior level subjects

Academic prerequisites for this program may be obtained free of charge through our Academic Upgrading program.

Semester 1
BI1003 Anatomy & Physiology
OTPT100 The Health Care System and Rehabilitation
OTPT101 Interpersonal Skills for Rehabilitation Professionals
PS1163 Developmental Psychology (GEN ED)
PTA Therapeutic Skills I
OTPT102 Rehabilitation Concepts Across the Lifespan

Semester 2
OTPT119 Concepts in Mental Health
OTPT104 Introductory Fieldwork Placement
Fundamentals of Musculoskeletal Movement
OTPT105 Presenting Conditions: Musculoskeletal Investigation and Evaluation
OTPT106 OTA Therapeutic Skills I
SW2033 Crisis Intervention (GEN ED)

Semester 3
PTA Therapeutic Skills II
OTA Therapeutic Skills II
Presenting Conditions: Neurological Investigation and Evaluation
OTA and PTA Fieldwork Placement
Fundamentals of Neurological Structures

Semester 4
Communication and Function
OTA/PTA Therapeutic Skills III
Fundamentals of Cardiorespiratory and Complex Systems
Presenting Conditions Cardiorespiratory and Complex Conditions
Professional Practice for OTA/PTA
OTA and PTA Fieldwork Pre-Graduate Placement (Block Placement April – May) – 6 weeks

Semester 1

BI1003 Anatomy & Physiology
This course introduces the learner to the normal development, structures and functions of the human body. The learner will examine the physiological components of the human body, in order to obtain understanding of how the structures and functions of the body are related. This course is especially focused to ensure coverage of relevant material as described in the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Prehospital Emergency Care Syllabus, version 2.0.

OTPT100 The Health Care System and Rehabilitation
The purpose of this course is to examine the field of rehabilitation and to understand the diversity of roles within it. A comparison of the medical models and the rehabilitation model of care are covered. The principles that guide rehabilitation are explained and exemplified. As well, this course familiarizes students with the organization of the provincial and federal health care responsibilities and the roles and interpretations of health professionals. There are opportunities to discuss issues and changes confronting the system, health personnel and the public.

OTPT101 Interpersonal Skills for Rehabilitation Professionals
Students study how to present ideas clearly, concisely and effectively. The course attempts to help students perfect their oral skills so they can perform efficiently in both vocational and social situations. Human relations and interpersonal communications are stressed, and included a component on dealing with clients and professionals in the work setting. Interpersonal skills are emphasized including active listening, questioning, team building, conflict resolution and learning styles. This course prepares students for field placements and clinical experiences while contributing to employability.

PS1163 Developmental Psychology (GEN ED)
This course emphasizes the continuity of development throughout the lifespan. It will focus on the interrelationships among the different stages of the lifespan and among the physical, cognitive, social and personality development. The course will cover the lifespan from the crucial prenatal period through late adulthood, as well as, death and the grieving process.

PTA Therapeutic Skills I
The course includes the theories and the applications of therapeutic interventions for treating patients/ clients who have physical disabilities resulting from musculoskeletal disorders. Students develop a basic understanding of the rationale for each intervention and the ability to apply the appropriate skills safely and effectively, ensuring transformation and integration of information into various clinical situations.

OTPT102 Rehabilitation Concepts Across the Lifespan
This course introduces students to Problem Based Learning (PBL) and applies it to rehabilitation concepts across the lifespan. Pediatric, adolescent, adult, and geriatric rehabilitation principles are examined concluding with Palliative Care issues. Health status, wellness, and influencing factors are examined with a concurrent review of health care and the many services provided.

Semester 2

OTPT119 Concepts in Mental Health
This course introduces students to the area of psychiatric disability both as a primary diagnosis, and as a secondary diagnosis in the cases of those with a physical disability. Students become familiar with characteristics of psychiatric disability and the general management of the more common disorders. The role of the assistant is examined, with particular emphasis on the client-centred rehabilitation approach. Students also have exposure to methods of service provision in mental health practice. The Mental Health System is described and related issues are explored, giving a broad perspective on mental health/illness.

OTPT104 Introductory Fieldwork Placement
The purpose of this placement is to help students develop their hands on skills with clients. This 14 week placement may be aranged in acute care hospitals, complex continuing care, rehabilitation and long term care centres. This field experience provides the opportunity for students to continue to develop their skills, and to expand their involement with other programs as offered by the agency.

Fundamentals of Musculoskeletal Movement
This course is designed for students with limited background in human biology. Structure of the musculoskeletal system is covered with application to the human body in motion.

OTPT105 Presenting Conditions: Musculoskeletal Investigation and Evaluation
Students investigate a selection of disabling conditions based on broad diagnostic categories and encompassing Fundamentals of Neurological Structures specific to adult populations. Emphasis is placed on the impact that these conditions present to the individual within the framework of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) model.

OTPT106 OTA Therapeutic Skills I
The course includes the theories and the applications of therapeutic interventions for treating patients/clients who have physical disabilities resulting from musculoskeletal disorders. Students develop a basic understanding of the rationale for each intervention and the ability to apply the appropriate skills safely and effectively, ensuring transformation and integration of information into various clinical situations.

SW2033 Crisis Intervention (GEN ED)
The course is designed to provide students in the human services field with fundamental crisis theory that will serve as a basis for assessing, intervening and evaluating resolution of a crisis event. The ABC model of crisis intervention shall be investigated. A six-step model of intervention is also presented along with specific helping objectives in order to guide the student.
Recognizing that suicide risk often accompanies a crisis, students will recognize suicide lethality, and acquire specific techniques involved in interrupting a suicide attempt. Prevention and postvention measures will also be examined. Developmental crises and crises related to loss, substance abuse, PTSD, child abuse, spousal abuse and sexual assault will be examined. Ultimately, the intention of this course is to prepare the student to help turn the client’s crisis (danger) into the opportunity for personal growth and development.

Semester 3

PTA Therapeutic Skills II
The purpose of this course is for students to learn the interventions that are used in the treatment of people with specific circulatory, respiratory and complex disorders from a PTA perspective. Students develop their basic understanding of the rationale for each intervention and they are able to apply the appropriate skills safely and effectively.

OTA Therapeutic Skills II
The purpose of this course is for students to learn the interventions that are used in the treatment of people with specific circulatory, respiratory and complex disorders from an OTA perspective. Students develop their basic understanding of the rationale for each intervention and they are able to apply the appropriate skills safely and effectively.

Presenting Conditions: Neurological Investigation and Evaluation
Students investigate a selection of disabling conditions based on broad diagnostic categories and encompassing Fundamentals of Neurological Structures specific to adult populations. Emphasis is placed on the impact that these conditions present to the individual within the framework of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Classification of Functioning (ICF), Disability and Health Model.

OTA and PTA Fieldwork Placement
During this 14-week fieldwork placement, students will have the opportunity to apply learned theory and knowledge while further developing their skills related to musculoskeletal rehabilitation, cardiorespiratory rehabilitation, and/or mental health. Students will become familiarized with the clinical facility and are expected to comply with site and Durham College policies and procedures. They will have the opportunity to apply and expand upon a variety of intervention strategies in different settings to optimize the level of function of a client with a musculoskeletal, cardiorespiratory, and/or mental health condition.

Fundamentals of Neurological Structures
This course is designed for those with a background in human biology. Structure of the Central and Peripheral Nervous system is discussed to provide a background which enables students to understand the basic concepts of function, health and disease processes related to this system.

Semester 4

Communication and Function
The purpose of this course is to review the communication problems associated with neurological and sensory impairments that inhibit a person’s ability to effectively communicate with others. The focus is to teach students practical methods to enhance their communication skills with people who have speech and language problems. As well, students examine strategies that they can use in assisting disabled people to communicate despite their impairments. Some time is also spent on learning the skills needed to help people with swallowing and feeding disorders.

OTA/PTA Therapeutic Skills III
This course covers the structure and functions of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems along with a brief overview of the endocrine and lymphatic systems. This material provides a background that enables students to understand the basic concepts of normal physiological function and or disorders related to these systems.

Fundamentals of Cardiorespiratory and Complex Systems
Students investigate a selection of disabling conditions, based on broad diagnostic categories, encompassing cardiac, respiratory, and complex conditions specific to pediatric, adult and geriatric populations. Emphasis is placed on the impact that these conditions present to the individual within the framework of the ICF model.

Presenting Conditions Cardiorespiratory and Complex Conditions
This course introduces students to the theoretical and practical application of knowledge and skills to enable clients with circulatory, respiratory and complex disorders. Students study physiological aspects of the disease processes and its impact on functional performance.

Professional Practice for OTA/PTA
In this course, students use clinical reasoning to examine a number of professional practice issues within the context of ethics literature in rehabilitation medicine. They are challenged to reflect on their own values and beliefs, and through discussion to explore those held by others. Students will refine their ability to record relevant client information accurately and effectively in more complex case scenarios. In preparation for professional practice, students will integrate academic and practicum experiences and reflect on professional behaviours expected in the workplace. Students will develop effective communication tools and skills for employment and preceptorship.

OTA and PTA Fieldwork Pre-Graduate Placement (Block Placement April – May) – 6 weeks
Field placement allows students the opportunity to integrate Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy theory into the assistant role in a practice setting. The student is required to complete the assigned hours of field work in a setting which provides direct client service.

Download the complete Articulation Agreement list for Universities and Colleges (PDF, 113KB).
You can also visit OnTransfer. This site provides information and resources to help students and potential students find their way through Ontario’s postsecondary system.

Articulation Agreements – Universities
Program Degree at Receiving University
Massage Therapy Brock (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts Community Health
Paramedic University of Ontario Institute of Technology (Ontario)
Practical Nursing Bachelor of Allied Health Science (Honours)
Medical Laboratory Technician
Pre-Health Sciences Algoma (Ontario)
Bachelor of Science in Biology
Practical Nursing University of Ontario Institute of Technology (Ontario)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Honours)
Lakehead (Ontario)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Algoma (Ontario)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – RPN Bridging Program
Ryerson (Ontario)
Bachelor of Health Administration Health Information Management or Bachelor of Health Administration Health Services Management
 
Practical Nursing Thompson Rivers (BC)
Paramedic Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Honours)
Massage Therapy  
   

Note 1: The information above is subject to change without notice at the institution’s discretion.
Note 2: Ryerson University may ask applicants to complete two or three university level liberal studies courses prior to admission.